Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Isaiah challenges us today as much as it did God’s people at the time of exile. I think of how I spend my financial resources, and sometimes wonder where has it gone, or why did I spend so much money on something that did not really satisfy my soul.
Recently I went to dinner with family and friends to celebrate my friend’s birthday. The meal I chose was nothing special, and did not seem to be too pricey. It was tasty and it nourished my body. I ate all that the server brought me and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also took my grandson with me to this birthday dinner party and bought his dinner too. When the check came I was shocked to discover our two meals with tea, and a dip which we shared, cost seventy-four dollars. With a 15% tip it came to ninety dollars. I thought as I submitted my credit card to pay the bill, that this would buy at least nine Bibles for a ministry that I have been giving to for several years, Bibles for Africa.
As I drove home from the restaurant I was comparing our brief culinary satisfaction to the lifelong gift of God’s Word which could be given to nine people who did not own a copy of the Bible, and it made me so ashamed of having spent so much money on that meal. We could have celebrated my friend’s birthday with hamburgers, and it would have been as good.
The satisfaction of knowing that I am able to give someone God’s Holy Word is far greater than a satisfying meal.
Oh, may I hear those words again of Isaiah, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. God’s Word is rich food that begs to be shared with others, and it is so satisfying to the soul. There are still people in the world who are starving for this food for the soul, and I had to ask God’s forgiveness for such wastefulness that evening.
Lent is a time when we can all review our behaviors and see where God calls us to change and grow and be fed with his Spirit and his Love rather than feeding our appetites with food that is not soul satisfying.
- On what do you waste your money that does not truly nourish your spirit?
- What is the good food God calls you to eat?
- For what do you work that does not bring satisfaction? Can you identify one thing to let go of that does not truly satisfy your soul, and one discipleship practice that is “good food” in which you can take delight in and live.
Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.